Form-fitting...

That title, of course, refers to software development and not clothing. In my experience, programming, particularly on the web, the idea was to write something that would attract the most users possible. This creates a big, bulky app that typically does not serve the original purpose very effectively but does support lots of people using it. With the advent of relatively cheaper technology (hardware, compilers, interpreters, etc…) however, suddenly that big bulky software which needed lots of users to justify the cost does not seem so necessary. Situated Software is an article which tackles this cultural conditioning towards broad apps and shows that it should not be the de facto standard in software development. An enlightening read for the open mind…

Lesson Learning

Imagine that, something useful in the lesson! Who would have thunk it? So, lately, it seems that a couple friends of mine have decided to make a consicous effort to reign in their weight and get healthy. I am a supporter of this goal to be sure, but I did find myself lacking in a higher conception of exercise. Mrs. Eddy talks about your "body of thought" and muscles being thought-forces, but I never really had a good idea on exercise. Sure, in sports, I was playing to glorify God, the brotherhood of the team, etc… Now that I am essentially done with playing competitive sports, I find I am not really motivated to exercise because I feel like it is for myself. Wanting to resolve things into thoughts, I have been looking for that elevated definition of exercise to support my friends' efforts spiritually. Enter section five of this week's lesson. From Science and Health, 393:8 -

Mind is the 9 master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death. Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. 12 Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on 15 man.

Duh! I have grown up being told, "Know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free", and I always thought, "Yeah, okay, easier said than done". This passage was an 'A ha!' moment for me. Applying this passage to basketball, you cannot run an offense or defense without a having a basic skill set, like knowing how to shoot, pass, rebound, etc. Knowing these skills, in and of themselves, does not win basketball games. They must be combined into an offensive and defensive philosophy, given structure. The analogy, then, is that knowing the Truth is knowing how to pass, shoot, rebound. It's all well and good knowing that God is All-in-all, but in and of itself doesn't do too much towards realizing the Truth. Only when we put into practice what we are learning and give it a framework do these truths become demonstrable. Yes, there are many healings where the person simply "knew a truth", but that is not the healing that Jesus did. It is not enough to know; one must do. To a newbie, this is hard and not immediately clear what that implies. What I think the passage points out is that no matter the evidence before the material senses, the spiritual fact of being is harmony. Jesus, while on a ship at sea during a storm, slept. When woken up by the disciples, Jesus did not panic, as I'm sure many of us would; instead, he rebuked the storm, and peace, the peace Jesus knew was ever present spiritually, was realized by the material senses. The first step towards this kind of dominance (see Gen 1:26) is taking possession of our bodies, governing our feelings and actions. Back to basketball for a moment. Players talk of times when they are "in the zone", where they can do no wrong, where their desires are realized. I myself have experienced this and it is beautiful. I stopped worrying about the future, what pass I had to make to keep the offense flowing or where I had to be standing on defense to prevent an opponent from driving, and was engrossed by the present. I imagine the feeling of being in the spiritual zone is incalcuable. We do not, however, go right to the zone. It starts with "glorious glimpses", moments where our thoughts are aligned and nothing is impossible. Just as a jump shot becomes more consistent with practice, so do these glorious glimpses turn from moments to stretches to eternity. That sweet reward, and it is sweet, cannot be gained without bearing our cross. I feel good about exercising now…

Rubies and Java

Alert to non-geek readers: This post probably will not contain too much information that you will find interesting. You may want to check out the new Strongbad email instead. I have to say, I am loving lesscode. The posts there are quite perceptive and intruiging. One of the more recent posts talks about the evolution of Java, and how it is actually seeming to de-evolve from its original intentions. Knowing a couple developers who advocate Java as the end-all be-all language, I wonder how they would react to this post. The author seems to have a fairly knowledgable background:

My background: five years in scientific research (started in 1985 on complex systems modeling), followed by 15 years of software development. I've been through it all — FORTRAN, Pascal, C, Smalltalk, C++, VB, Java, ERP, J2EE, EAI, SOA, .NET, and finally (thankfully:-) Ruby and Rails.

It's an exciting time to be sure… UPDATE - Looking through the poster's (Alex) personal website, I am finding this guy to be very interesting. A little obsessive and perhaps overly analytical, but he certainly suggests some interesting ideas. In particular, and Gabe should agree with Alex here, is Alex's post on validation.

Rock On

Sculpture…a very cool art form that has to be precise or else the composition just won't work. Seriously though, most sculpture is amatuer compared to this. Michaelangelo was weak sauce using a big chunk of rock…this takes skillz.

Outer Limits Experience

<geek> Not that anyone would pick up on this, and while most of the three people that read this already know what has occurred, I still feel I should mention that I have transferred my domain and moved my site to a new server. GoDaddy is handling my domain while Gabriel is allowing me to put my content on his server. So the last couple posts did happen when the timestamp says; the domain transfer just hadn't happened in time for you to see them right away. </geek>

Welcome Aboard

I finally did it…I joined Flikr. Here's my portion of the site. The pictures are in no particular order; actually, they are in the order in which I uploaded them, but that in and of itself is meaningless. Seriously though, Flikr rocks the house. Pretty sweet UI, very slick slideshow tool, and tons of users' pictures to browse through. Using the tags makes it very easy to find pictures relating to a theme. All around a great site…and it's free!

Father's Love

I have been playing with Flickr for the last hour, uploading some of my pictures, but mostly browsing others. I came across this one…hard to put into words what it makes me feel. Mostly that I miss my dad, the way I knew him before this past Christmas…I still love you, Dad

Colors For the Color Inept

When it comes to color coordination, I am no Monet. I admit I am a guy when it comes to colors. I function with the basics - red, blue, green, purple, black, white, orange, etc… Honey Mustard yellow, spearmint green, charcoal black…these colors do not illict images containing the subtle variations in shade, hue, luminosity, and whatever other terms you can imagine to describe color. Perhaps saddest of all is that those colors listed previously all have real-world incarnations that I can directly reference – I just don't see the difference. The next problem that stems from lacking the ability (or caring to have the ability?) is that I have no idea which colors go with which. I remember complimentary colors from elementry arts and crafts which is great for 8 year olds, but when I am trying to design a website for a multinational corporation, knowing red and green go together will not encourage a healthy website look and feel. Fear not, my brethern who share this disposition! Help has arrived in the form of a nice, easy-to-use website that will automatically show you what colors go with what. You choose one color and it will generate five others that it thinks match! Very slick and useful, though the true test will be whether Gabe likes the generated colors. Artists! Sheesh, who cares about color, I just want to code!

Omission

There are times when I read the lesson that I stray from the marked text and read in between the citations or before or after a block, just to see what happens that the Lesson Committee didn't think pertinent. Sometimes addition inspiration comes; other times, a good chuckle and shaking of the head. This week we have an example of the latter, though it is more morbidly funny than actually hilarious. From the Section II, we read of the story of Elisha and Elijah where Elijah is taken up by the whirlwind. After Elisha parts the waters with Elijah's mantle, he goes back to Jericho, and sons of prophets acknowledge that the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha. Great. Continuing on, however, we read about Elisha being taunted by little kids. Let's tune in and see how this man of God, whom the spirit of Elijah rests upon, handles it:

23 ¶ And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

AHHHH!!! He took offense to being called bald, and as retribution cursed the children and caused two she bears to eat 42 of them (HHGttG anyone?). Like I said, morbidly funny. A different era to be sure…

Ego Boost

I love checking the comments sellers leave for me in the feedback area of Ebay! What a great ego boost to see all the sellers there telling me what a great buyer I am. Hilarious…